SportsBusiness Journal reports that MLBPA head Michael Weiner is going to continue his predecessor Donald Fehr’s tradition of taking $1 million a year in salary. You may say that’s not exactly “working cheap,” but (a) that salary has remained flat since 1990, meaning that in real terms the MLBPA head has taken annual pay cuts; and (b) compared to their counterparts in other sports unions Fehr and Weiner are utter bargains.
Gene Upshaw, for example, made $6 million in the last year before his death. I know Gene Upshaw. I watched Mr. Upshaw work. Mr. Fehr and Mr. Weiner are no Gene Upshaws. And I mean that as a compliment to Fehr and Weiner.
No matter what you think of the players’ union, there is no escaping that it is one of the most successful unions in all of organized labor, not just sports labor. The fact that their Executive Directors make less than most team’s utility infielders make them among the best deals in sports.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.